Dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors, and often it isn’t completely curable. It has varying stages of severity, but despite this is generally able to be managed well. With effective treatment, most people with dry eye are able to enjoy good quality of vision.
Dry eye forms due to keratoconjuntivitis (say that five times fast), which is a fancy way of saying that the body is unable to produce enough tears. This can be brought on due to factors like:
- Some medication conditions, including diabetes
- Some medications, including antihistamines
- Laser corrective surgery
- Wind/smoke/dry air
- Clogged meibomian glands
For some people, the cause of dry eye may be physical: they blink less due to eye strain, focusing/concentrating at a computer or when reading, etc. Injuries that impact tear production will also play a large role in the development of dry eye.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Many dry eye symptoms can be confused with other eye diseases. If you are experiencing some or all the symptoms below, book an eye exam to determine if dry eye may be the cause.
- Eye redness, including the eyelids
- Stinging, burning, or itchy feeling
- Watery eyes (body overreacting to dry eye symptoms)
- Sensitivity to light
- Mucus in/around the eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Blurred vision
Dry Eye Treatments
There are many treatment options for the management of dry eye. Most people who undergo treatment find substantial relief, though it is required that you follow the treatment as prescribed by your Optometrist. Unfortunately, sometimes eye diseases/symptoms can be asymptomatic until it is quite advanced.
Treatments for dry eye include:
- Artificial tears – eye drops – these eye drops emulate tears’ lubricating and antiseptic effect.
- Anti-inflammatory eye drops
- Addressing blocked tear ducts and glands
- Restasis, which helps facilitate an increase in tear production
If you are seeking assistance with your dry eye management, or if you think you have dry eye and are seeking a diagnosis, please book an appointment so we can assess your eye health and provide appropriate next steps.